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Student Advisory Council Seeks Student Opinions on Mental Health

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Melissa Ware , director of the counseling center at GRCC, discusses plans for student mental health advisory council.

By Kaden Boock

The Counseling and Career Development center at Grand Rapids Community College has opened up an opportunity for students to offer opinions on how mental health is affecting their campus. 

The student advisory council has been created to allow a place for the student voices to be heard. Melissa Ware, director of the counseling center at GRCC, is seeking out passionate individuals who want to be able to help out their community and discuss the effects that mental health issues are having on college students. 

” I just wanted to make sure that we weren’t making decisions about how to support student mental health without the very critical input of students,” Ware said. “That has to be the center to everything we’re doing. I think that seems to be one of the things that’s really missing. In student mental health, the key word is student, and that was the missing link.”

The student advisory council doesn’t have any specific requirements for applicants. They’re looking for students who are willing to openly discuss and offer feedback about mental health. 

 “Everyone has a very important opinion on mental health because it’s something that’s universal to the human experience.” Ware said. “The more diverse opinions that I can get from students, the better. It doesn’t mean that you have to self-disclose, it doesn’t mean that there are any forced revelations, it’s just being willing to provide feedback and input.”

The student advisory council doesn’t have to be an overwhelming commitment either. The group aims to meet once a month for about an hour and a half, and all that’s expected of members is to be there and be open to giving feedback and opinions. 

If you’re interested in applying, all you need to do is fill out an application and then you will have an interview with Ware. She said she is aiming to start the student advisory council with about 12 students, but that number is flexible. The deadline to apply is Feb. 10.

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